Making play happen for every child

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    The National Play Advocacy Week (NPAW), happening on November 16 to 22, is a week dedicated to highlighting the right of every child to play, and its importance to their holistic wellbeing. This initiative is led and organized by the Philippine Play Coalition (PPC), a network of child-focused organizations, Council for the Welfare of Children, Unilab Foundation, World Vision, Tukod Foundation, Educo Philippines, Unang Hakbang Foundation, and Kythe Foundation. PPC is also supported by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Youth Commission (NYC).

    Over the past three years, NPAW has been celebrated every third week of November as part of the National Children’s Month. Believing that play is a right, it has already been able to reach more than 150,000 Filipinos and gave access to play to more than 15,000 children across 15 regions of the country.

    Now in its fourth year, the Philippine Play Coalition, together with its partners, will conduct this year’s NPAW in a time where play is needed the most. In the face of COVID-19 pandemic, and other natural disasters, play is very important to a child’s natural means of expression and coping, that not only provides them rest and leisure, but is also fundamental in their holistic development and wellbeing.

    With the National Children’s Month theme, “Sama-samang Itaguyod ang Karapatan ng Bata sa Panahon ng Pandemya”, the NPAW 2020 aligns its cause with its theme: “Making Play Happen: Reimagining Play in The Time of Crisis”.

    School closure, physical distancing requirements, and home confinement as a result of COVID-19 have dramatically reduced young children’s access to early learning and play opportunities and appropriate care and wellbeing. Many children are therefore not able to actively participate in their regular activities outside of their homes. Under such conditions, many tend to be less physically active, have longer screen time, and may affect their holistic wellbeing and development.

    The pandemic and the typhoon may have brought life to a standstill and its impact amongst children risks as catastrophic, but it doesn’t mean that the right of the child to play has to come to a pause.

    Anyone can help press play for every child this year. NPAW 2020 encourages to take play initiatives that can be coursed through its partnership platform at bit.ly/NPAW2020Partners. An NPAW 2020 Partner’s Toolkit can also be downloaded at bit.ly/NPAW2020Toolkit.

    The toolkit serves as a guideline in conducting play activities at home or through online platforms. It features the benefits of play and also contains communication materials that can be used to advertise the coolest play extravaganza of the year. You can also visit www.facebook.com/PhilippinePlayCoalition to see what more awaits you there